Sunday, October 23, 2016

21 Things I Wish I Could Just Tell You...

I am a people watcher, my husband says it is due to my former "real job" I am not sure he is 100% accurate, but my former career did teach me to be very alert at all times.  Watching people can be fun, but it can also be depressing - especially when watching our youth.  This world is so harsh - and without the right mindset, it could really mess you up.

As I am walking away from my people watching sessions - I often think "there is so much I wish I could just tell you"....I mean I could tell them, but most times they would think I was just crazy, nosy,
or opinionated.

I have formulated - rethought - wrote - deleted - rewrote - edited - and still may delete this list of things I wish I could tell the young women of this world.

1.  It does not matter if you have a date for winter formal, prom, homecoming, or any other dance!  Go have fun, in 20 years that dance will not be important and your date or no date will be forgotten.

2.  You are PRICELESS, so priceless that God sent his only son to die for you.   Do not let anyone ever tell you different - ANYONE.

3.  You are IMPORTANT, you may not be the smartest, prettiest, richest, best dancer, or even best walker, but you are so important that God knows every hair on your head.

4.  Your body is beautiful, so beautiful that you should not share it unwisely.  Boys will ask to see a little more (not men - because real would not treat a lady that way) - say no!  Do not cheapen yourself to their standards - if they are asking for this, they will not be in for the long investment.

5.  Girls - other girls and yourself are dramatic, hateful, mean, and spiteful - this will never change!

6.  Your Mom is probably right - especially if she cares enough to advise you about sensitive subjects.

7.  Leading a guy on is a bad idea - it gives you a reputation and a false sense of security.

8.  You are pretty with your clothes on, you do not have to show a little more cleavage, leg, booty, or anything else to be pretty.

9.  Sexting is degrading - I am not even sure they call it sexting anymore.  Apparently it is casual to talk nasty to each other.  Well, if that is casual conversation - do not do it.  Have intellectual conversations that will increase your brain activity.

10.  While you may feel on top of world while you are wrapped in his arms or hearing his "sweet words"  that feeling will end.

11.  You do not have to be connected to your friends 24/7 - you are missing out of a whole lot of life because of them. It is okay to hang out with your mom, grandma, the ladies from church, or even the elderly lady down the street.

12.  Spend time with older people (over the age of 50) they may seem "not up to date" but they have so much wisdom you need to absorb.

13.  Have a hobby - besides texting - learn to sew, cook, paint, draw, or even start a blog!

14.  Read a book, a good book that will inspire you to do more.  This world is so full of crap and nastiness - it is good to tone it out and read something simple.

15.  Dreams are good - fantasies are bad.   It is healthy to dream about having an amazing job, it is not healthy to fantasize about boys.

16.  The whole world is not having sex - you will not be weird if you are a virgin on your wedding day.   Your wedding night will mean so much more if you share your body only with your husband.

17.  Snapchats do not always go away!  There is no guarantee that every snap you send gets deleted.

18.  Doing chores is preparing you for the future - had my parents never made me learn to cook, my kids would starve.

19.  Pornography causes brain damage - the next time a boy ask for a naked picture ( real men do not ask for these things) - tell him that it is in his best interest not see you naked - it could give him brain damage.

20.  Playing every sport and being at every event will not make you a more successful adult - it will exhaust your parents and distract your real focus in life.

21.  Read your Bible, Pray Daily, and Go to involved with your youth group, serve on a mission, and do things outside of your comfort zone, but in God's plan.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

6 places in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Photograph this October.

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Pink- this was shot from the Red Star Boat Launch.  During the month of October the bridge is pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.  Spectacular views can be seen from the riverfront in Downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  

The Bald Knob Cross from Trail of Tears State Park lookout - on a clear day, with a good camera or a set of binoculars you can see the Bald Knob Cross from the lookout at Trail of Tears State Park.  You have to look closely or it will blend in.  

Trail of Tears State Park - rather you decide to lace of up your hiking boots or just visit the lookout the park is full of fall color.  

Cape Girardeau Nature Center has this amazing little hiking trail behind the building - few know how many fall features you can find on the trail.  

Main Street in Downtown Cape Girardeau at sunrise.  Any other time of day this place would be full of people, cars, and noise.  At sunrise you can sneak peaceful images like this! 

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge at Sunrise - while it is worth seeing in pink it is also worth seeing with your first cup of coffee!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

DaZe in a MaZe Pumpkin Patch near Enid Oklahoma

We were out numbered by kids - or maybe the kids had more energy than we did!  After what felt like hours of searching, my brother in law insisted we take the kids to the pumpkin patch - and I was glad he did.

Down a twisty Oklahoma back road outside of Enid, Oklahoma there is a small farm called DaZe in a MaZe  - now I have been to several pumpkin patches and family farms, but I have never been to one with a 7 acre corn maze!  Impressive if you ask me!

The farm offers 2 corn mazes; one that is 7 acres and semi difficult, another that is 6 acres - well we never finished that one - we took the easy way out!  A hay maze that the kids loved.  Zip-line - none of our crew was brave enough...hmm!  A petting zoo - where our girls spent most of the time! Among the grounds there is places to climb, play, dig, and picnic - definitely a place you could spend the day!

The mini-horse licked D. 

The indoor hay maze for little ones! 

Mom there is a tiger in the corn! 

So much energy to run off! 

Zip-line over the corn-patch!  Not my kids - but we got to watch others! 

Somehow we felt bigger on the hay bales - Trey Photo bomb! 

The Pumpkin Patch - since we had to drive back to Missouri we did not get a pumpkin! 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

You Go to School? Aren't You Like 40?

Today during church, there was like a flock of children around me - not my kids, just random kids.

After a few cleared away, this one little girl came up to me.  For several weeks this little girl has been
mad at me - she has indirectly and directly told my daughter she was mad at me.

I have tried to smooth things over with her by saying hello and smiling, but she is a 6th grader, so I assumed in time it would pass. Today it must have.

This little gal came up stood right in my face and waited for me to talk to her - so I asked "how is life" expecting to get rejected, but she responded with "oh ya know"......

No I really didn't know, and really was not fishing for conversation, was just being polite and seeing if she would answer.

She then responded "life is complicated" .....

I responded, "oh no, well how is school" she quickly responded "that is what is complicated" - hey I am experienced with 6th graders and school being complicated, so maybe I can handle this.  She goes on to tell me that school is so complicated, because she has to switch classes, do homework, and well ya know be responsible.  

I attempted to say that I understood - I also have the complications of school and my life gets rough when switching from work life to doing homework.

Looking up at me with her innocent little eyes she says "Hold up, aren't you like 40, why are you in school"  I chuckled and quickly responded "oh no I am only 34, but you know I wasted a lot of my teen years"................She missed the whole I wasted my teen years and promptly told me that 34 was not that far from 40.

I suspect 40 is closer than 6th grade, so she has me beat.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

God is so Good even when I am so Bad

This week has been a crazy week in our household!  D is struggling with his reading,  D is sick - yep that time of year again, Lesse is busy with basketball, Trey and I's patience are being tested as we are attempting to buy a house, and the list goes on. 

Image Credit Stillwater Bible Church

Through all this I have found my faith and wisdom has grown tremendously - beyond what I had ever dreamed!  No I did not have a miracle, no I was not lifted from my struggles, but every step of the way I have seen the light of God and felt his hand pat my back with a whisper of "stay faithful my child and you will come home".

I did something different two weeks ago, something I have never done before - I joined and all women's Bible Study from my church - say what?  This is not the Becky we knew 5 years ago???

Seriously though it is the Becky that I am now - which is something I have struggled with and my peers have struggled with.  

The old Becky was careless, harsh, and lived just at the edge of right and wrong - never wrong enough to be illegal, but definitely wrong enough to go to hell.  

Then life changed or I changed - okay no neither changed - This is still my crazy life, I still deal with the same  problems, I still look the same, BUT I lean on God.

During the first week my Bible Study group is following along with The Time Warp Warp Wife's Philippians Study (I do recommend this). Our first week we have taken a look at Saul/Paul's conversion to Christ.  We know that his conversion was instant - the scales fell from his eyes and he was baptized.  But what happened next.....

In the Book of Acts it discusses his conversion and the disbelief people had for Paul's conversion - it truly shocked people that a murder could become a preacher.  I am sure it would me also - we see it on Hallmark and it looks nice, but in real life???? We just can't believe it!

Recently I was eavesdropping on a conversation at the grocery store - and a woman was talking to who I assume is her daughter and said "I just don't know how everything he has done you still show love for him". I don't know who "him" is we can only assume "him" broke her heart.....but the real question is "how does she love him" - we could search the web find tons of uplifting babble that will point us in a direction, but not the right direction.  

The answer is "How does God love us so much that he gave his only son to die for our sins and then.....continues to love us while we sin against him"

There is no answer to that - EXCEPT he is a really good father that loves his children and will continue to love and guide us.  

As D says "okay mom what is the moral of the story" - well it is - God changed Saul to Paul, God changed Careless Becky to Thoughtful full of God Becky, and God loves me and whoever "him" is unconditionally. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

School Started - NOW my wallet is EMPTY

Oh it is the most wonderful time of year!  I packed their backpacks, washed their faces, made them breakfast, emptied my wallet, and then sent them to school.
First Day of School 

School has been in session exactly 6 days - and for exactly 6 days I have received a note of some sort requesting me to pay for something to or for school.

Prior to school starting I was met with the school supply list - I am pretty positive I have supplied the school (in the past 7 years) with 100 boxes of kleenexes, 50 rolls of paper towels, and why in the world did they need Mr Clean Magic Erasers this year?   She is in 7th grade he is in 3rd - they are kind of grown out of major messes!

Just hours after pulling up from school supply shopping, I opened my mailbox and discovered a letter from the school informing me that I needed to first pay for school lunches - okay the kids have gotta eat- but second pay the deposit/insurance for my daughters chromebook.  Okay fine - she is an awkward 7th grader - so I footed the bill.

First day of school those shining faces arrived home from school with more bills from the school.  We have Beta dues, Pep Club dues, and I need reeds for my saxophone.  Okay let me open my wallet a little wider - see what we can dig out of there.

Day two of school, hey Mom, they sent home the school picture form - would you like to order photos - ummmm....NO let's just take a selfie and that will do. I can't afford these prices.

On the third day of school "hey mom, coach said I needed to pay for my ball shoes before Friday" okay - there is turnip in the yard, go squeeze it and see if you can get blood from it.

On the fourth day of school I received a lovely letter from the music teacher (who I truly adore and am thankful for) "hey mom I need money for a recorder - it is only $5.00"  - okay can I just hand the school my checkbook and they balance it for me.

On the fifth day of school "hey mom, coach said we could buy polo shirts to wear with khakis for game day - oh I need khakis, but could you pay for the polo today"  yes of course - do you think they know my bank account number well enough yet - maybe they could direct withdraw.

Now I love my kids and I love their school, but I am scratching my head as to how parents do this.

Since August 1st, I have spent over $500 in either school supplies, or something that the school has requested for me to pay.....FOR REAL.

I sat here tonight and stared at my checkbook and scratched my head. 

I live in a community where more than 20% of the population live at poverty level or below.  To be considered at poverty level means the household income is less than $30,000 a year for a family of 4- which equals a gross income of $2500 a month!  That is gross not net!  Either way there is NO WAY a family of that income can afford to fork out $500 for school supplies, school lunches, school clubs, sports, and any other letter I received this week asking for money.  Not to mention that is just for two kids - most families have more kids than me!

I point no fingers - and I did pay for every item requested (after some grumbling to the husband) my question is why does the school administration not see this as an issue.  Are they not aware of how poor people really are?  Do they realize that parents struggle to just get school supplies and then have to sacrifice school pictures because it is just not in the budget for that month?  Do they think it is possible to spread these expenses out a bit - so the sticker shock does not come all at once?

I wonder how many other parents are feeling this way - or is it just me?